There’s money in photographs (which, I suppose, is why intrusive photographers exist. Italians have a lot to answer for).
My son, Morgan, who raps as Sargon and/or Shermman Skilliams, is constantly in need of survival funds and thus works at a restaurant in Bay Shore, NY. The place serves good food that is medium priced, though I suppose that assessment depends on how much disposable income one has. If you have sufficient funds you’ll pay smart accountants to find all allowable deductions and perhaps, if you’re rich enough, they’ll deduct you down to zero taxable income. Mr Getty (I forget his first name) was at some time the richest man in America and reportedly paid zero taxes one year (maybe many years). I’m sure he’s moved on, but his philosophies are maintained by at least one of the Getty businesses.
I need a photograph for the cover of my novel. I searched the web and found what I wanted; a fatigued shoulder (the shoulder of a man dressed in military fatigues, but I like fatigued shoulder) on which was a flash with the words ‘Royal Marine Commando’. The shot had been taken by Matt Cardy but the product belonged to Getty Images. I asked Getty how much it would cost for me to use said photograph. One thousand dollars they said. Surely not, I replied. I am an ex-Royal Marine Commando and my book is to be self-published. How about a massive deduction? I still await their response but I have found an alternative for $29.00
After poems on the first two blogs, I give you an amusing short story.
First Date by Peter Lingard
It was a strange evening. Oh, he was turned out nicely enough; darkish grey suit with a black shirt and tie. He smelled good. And he looked good; those gorgeous eyebrows. I’ve shown you his picture, right? He has great eyebrows. He was a good talker and his voice… I felt the timbre of his voice in my body. I mean, he’d say some words and I swear the table vibrated. I kept my leg in contact with the table leg throughout the meal. To give him his due, he was a good listener. He barracks for ‘The Doggies’, but I can get past that. He apparently works at a brokerage house and earns a decent amount. He says he’s never been married and has no kids, so that’s good. Don’t pull that face, the strange part is coming.
‘I’m glad you didn’t ask about walks along the shore and picnics in the park in your come-on,’ he said. ‘They’re lovely ideas but basically they’re desperate attempts by people to appear romantic. A good sense of humour is what’s paramount in a relationship.’
The food was good. I had garlic snails for my entrée. Stop looking like that! If he wanted to kiss me it was up to him to order something with garlic; which he did – garlic prawns. Anyhow, I had roast duck with cherry sauce for mains while he ate an enormous rare steak with salad. We shared a good Merlot. I have the name and vintage in my bag and I’ll give you the details later. I told him about me, well, all he needed to know at this point; just a more detailed account of what’s already in my profile, really.
The date was going well until he proposed. I laughed aloud and his eyes lit up and a satisfied grin appeared on his face. This is the strange part, as if I had to tell you. He said he proposes to all first dates that are at or above his requirement levels. Arrogant I know, but, that voice and the eyebrows… Apparently, those he still finds interesting when pudding’s served are honoured with his proposal. He told me later that those who, like me, don’t want a dessert are urged to have a coffee, tea, or a cognac; not brandy, cognac. So I had cognac, naturally. Women who turn shy or walk out are forgotten, those who say, ‘of course’ are possibles, and those who laugh are definite prospects. It’s his way of finding out how sincere they are about requiring a GSOH in the men they seek. ‘It cuts down the field,’ he said. Anyway, two can play his game. I’m seeing him again on Friday when I’ll inform him it’s the wedding night. Remind me to book a room at the Hyatt tomorrow. I want to see if he can put a satisfied smile on my face. But I’m telling you, if he laughs, he dies.